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Mitch Mcconnell 9, Joe Biden 8, Mcconnell 8, Msnbc 6, Washington 6, Us 5, Craig 5, Biden 5, Boehner 5, U.s. 4, Obama 4, Hawaii 4, United States 4, New Jersey 3, John Boehner 3, Jonathan Allen 3, Sandy 3, Florida 3, Kentucky 3, Barack Obama 3,
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  MSNBC    MSNBC Live    News/Business. Live news coverage, breaking news  
   and current news events with host Thomas Roberts. New.  

    January 5, 2013
    11:00 - 12:00pm PST  

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of state because she'd come under so much criticism for her handling of the benghazi incident. so if president obama does, in fact, pick hagel it is possible that we could see a potentially difficult nominating process, but that announcement could come as early as next week. craig? >> there's the work. let's talk about the play and what's vacation been like for the president. and one of the reports yesterday said that the president who has played some golf and had dinner at nobu, we understand. what else? >> that's right. the other day he went out and took that famous shaved ice trip that he takes with his daughters. shaved ice is like water ice in hawaii and it is a local treat and he's been playing a lot of golf, basically, and also doing some work of the office of the presidency, that always travels with him. you saw him speak out about the sandy relief package. also, of course, delivered the weekly address in which he talks about the upcoming fiscal fight over the debt ceiling and
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drawing a hard line with congress saying he's not going to negotiate with them and house speaker john boehner drawing a hard line as well saying he'll use the debt ceiling debate to try to cut spending. so it looks like we are gearing up for another big battle, craig. this vacation will not last very long. >> kristen welker with a whole lot of day left in hawaii. i expect you have plans as well. good luck, kristen. >> thanks, craig. >> out with the old and in with the new. we're not just talking about out with the old and in with the new. we're not just talking about the fights on the horizon that will include a few familiar faces and washington post ed o'keefe, good afternoon to you, gentlemen. >> gentlemen. >> ed, the end of 2012, all about the fiscal cliff. right now we're talking about the debt ceiling discussion ahead. how tough of a fight is president obama going to be coming home will to? >> oh, a very tough one because republicans now determined more than ever to get spending cuts
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as part of the fiscal deal on the fiscal cliff. the president said he's not negotiating over it and the new congress began making it very clear that spending cuts will be what they focus on like a laser in the coming months as negotiations continue. mitch mcconnell look at the incoming class of house republicans as well who voted, many of them against the bill on friday that provided $9 billion in flood relief to sandy. they did it because there weren't spending cuts. >> jonathan, how is the fiscal cliff fight, how might that shape the debt ceiling fight for republicans? >> it's everything to them in terms of they feel as it was pointed out before that they didn't get the spending cuts they wanted. they see the debt ceiling coming up in the early couple of months of the year here as an opportunity for leverage to get those spending cuts that they didn't just get. the president of the united states says he's not going to play ball on that. he may unilaterally raise the debt and may lower the debt and there are a few options on the
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table so we'll have to see how that plays out. >> do you think he might invoke the constitution to prevent congress from holding him hostage? >> we have to see. the white house pretty much shut that down in december and november when there were discussions of possibly doing that especially when liberal democrats were suggesting he should do it and he had proposed and it was quickly shut down the possibility of being able to do this in the future without congressional approval and that was shut down not only by republicans, but also democrats who said how dare he think about it. i think it would be a radical move and only because there was some serious gridlock. >> jonathan, let's turn our focus now to the speaker. we covered speaker boehner. this is what the former speaker of the house had to say about him. let's take a listen on the other side. here it is. >> he ended up as majority leader and then as speaker. my hunch is he'll spend the next
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few days thinking deeply about how to reconnect with the conference and what they've got to find in the house is a totally new strategy. >> there's newt gingrich, "morning joe" for this week and we've seen reports that speaker boehner is all in on this debt limit fight and how badly does the republican need a legislative win here. >> i think john boehner needs the legislative and the problem has been that his republican conference won't unite behind anything and there's a certain number of guys anywhere from maybe a dozen to 40, depending on the issue who just want to vote no on whatever it is and that's created a huge problem for him and it's been made unmanageable and we saw it this week that there was a point at which there were 16 members who voted against him or abstained from the vote just on his side of the aisle. 17, if you include boehner who originally didn't vote and then a few of the folks ending up voting for him and there's a lot
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of drama on the house floor and the speak areship floor and 11 candidates got votes for speaker and you never see that. is this the smart battle in the debt limit battle raising it for the gop and the argument is at least, it seems to be either let us raise it or we want to cut medicare. it doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense or i don't fully appreciate the argument that the gop is making here. >> they're looking for any opportunity they can to cut government spending. any time something like this comes up they'll raise the issue and whether it's this and whether it's the short-term budget deal that needs to be cut, with it starting late march or whether it's the sequestration and discussions that will have to start by the end of february. every single time fiscal matters come up, republicans will come up about trying to find ways to cut spending whether it's medicare and discretionary spending and whether it's finding ways to smartly cut money that doesn't necessarily
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affect national security. they will will do it and this used to be an issue that was done pretty quickly and without much debate in recent years considering the nation's problem and it's becoming a much bigger deal and it will continue to be so until republicans feel they've satisfactorily cut away what they can. >> let's talk about the deals they've made over the past few years. are these the lawmakers we should be focusing on over the past few years? >> if you want to watch what happens in congress, watch mitch mcconnell. he's got a long-term friendship with joe biden. they've served together or did serve together for 20-some years in the senate and of course, biden served longer than senator mcconnell and these guys work together very well in the senate and they're working together very well now. it's absolutely the relationship to watch. we've seen the boehner-obama relationship fizzle. we've seen the reid-mcconnell relationship fizzle. there is no relationship to speak of between boehner and
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pelosi. so these are the two guys to watch and i've always told people, if you want a prediction of when a deal will be cut, wait for mitch mcconnell to release his prediction of what will be in the deal and you'll know the deal is within 24 hours of being made. >> i was waiting on you to recount the conversation that happened between speaker boehner and harry reid in the white house lobby. i'm glad you did not do that even though this is cable. >> it's a family show and now everybody goes to the internet to see what he said. thank you so much. ed o'keefe, jonathan allen, i appreciate you two. >> take care. still to come, after years of denial, there are reports that lance armstrong may finally admit to doping. the full storing come up. if barack obama was somehow able to cure hunger in the world the republicans would blame him for overpopulation. they understand that if barack obama has a blt tomorrow for lunch, they will try to ban bacon.
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>> he makes us laugh so much. he was one of the more colorful characters on the house floor. he left. now he's back. his name is allen and a not so fresh freshman congressman from florida. he's a sound bite machine. we'll see what he has to say and later, what could have made just-retired congressman barney frank, what could have made him change his mind, now he no longer wants to leave d.c. you have to be kidding me. you're watching msnbc, the place for politics.
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as i said earlier this week, one thing i will not compromise over is whether or not congress should pay the tab for a bill they've already racked up. if congress infusees to give the
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united states the ability to pay its bills on time the consequences could be cat str k strofk. our families and our businesses cannot afford that dangerous game again. >> very dangerous game, but one the republicans look like they willing to play. president obama saying that he does not want to negotiate over the debt ceiling and says he will not negotiate over the debt ceiling and from the looks of things it could be the next big fight in washington. a man who has never backed away from the fight congressman allen grayson. always good to see you. >> thanks. >> back in congress after losing your seat in 2010. how does it feel being back? >> oh, it's great. it's great to be back in the saddle again and the greatest comeback in the history of the house of representatives. we won by 25 points. >> we talked about the debt ceiling and i want to read you something that jon corn inwrote. this is an op-ed from senator
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john cornyn, quote, it may be necessary to partially shut down the government in order to secure the long-term fiscal well-being of our country rather than mrod along the path of greece, italy and spain. pat said the same thing on "morning joe." are we headed for a government shutdown in the next few months? >> if the republicans are crazy enough they'll want to do that it's possible they'll pull that off and it's a very divided party and divided between the far right wing and the, treatment right wing and the extreme right wing wants to shut down the government because they just don't like the government at all. they'd rather have no government than even good government. >> does the extreme right wing of the gop still yield that much power? >> well, sure. from what i can see, their caucus is divided almost equally between the corporate shales and the tea party. that's what passes for diversity on the other side of the aisle and the tea party represents a good hundred votes on the other
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side. republicans argue that we just passed this fiscal cliff deal and the national debt now more than $16 trillion and the democrats, a lot of them aren't wild about the idea of making cuts to entitlements. how does that work? >> listen, if they were serious about reducing the debt and serious about taxing people who have money. it seems the only people that the right wing are willing to tax are the people without mono pep the people with money are those they regard as untouchable and if they do that they'll reduce the deficit just as we did during the clinton administration. the clinton administration ran three or four different surpluses one after another because the income tax rate was high enough to pay for the needs of the government and the needs of the people, but look what they want to do instead. they want to cut social security benefit and they want to cut medicare benefits and the social security administration has run a profit every single year since it was created. medicare also runs a profit each year. it doesn't make any sense.
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they're basically trying to cut because of some sadistic attitude toward folks. >> the president has indicated he might be willing to cut medicare and also willing to make an adjustment to calculations used with social security. >> well, no. i think you have to be very specific about this when talking about this. what the president has generally indicated is to make these programs more efficient. i don't think the president has come out in favor of actual benefit cuts and they're two fundamentally different things. we're all interested in making the program more, efficient. we're not interested in cutting the benefits. >> there are so many issues still outstanding from the 112th congress that you guys have to deal with. the sequester, of course, that's coming up march 1st, the farm bill and the act and even more aid for victims of hurricane sandy. make a prediction for us, if you can. what, if anything, is going to
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get done with the 113th congress at the helm. >> the congress will deal with the crises as they in up, but remember the crises are artificial crises and some of them are created specifically that could never get done by the people in the regular order. my only client has written about this in the book the shock doctrine and what's seen as a series of artificial crises when stealing from the middle class. >> again, going back to a prediction for what's going to be the first or even the second order of business. are we talking about immigration? are we talking about gun control? what might we be looking at here for the next six months? >> oh, i think we'll have to deal first with the sequester and a completely artificial contrivance completed by the republicans to cut medicare benefits and right after that, possibly right before that with tim geithner's private calculations.
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>> how real is the concern among congressional democrats that as you crawl from crisis to crisis that it prevents the administration from advancing with long-range policies with regard to imgramigration or gun control. >> i don't think it should. the administration has enormous powers under existing law. for instance, they could institute large parts of the cap and trade bill which passed the house through regulation, through rule making and the president actually did institute a large part of what would have been our bill on immigration, the dream act through administrative action. the president has a lot of power and he should use it to solve the country's problems. >> how would you characterize your last stint in congress. how would you characterize that compared to this upcoming stint? >> well, we did a lot of good for a lot of people, particularly in our district and i think they'll be able to do it again. a lot of the best things that we
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did in the district had nothing to do with votes on the floor and the job creates opportunities to do good things and we'll do our best. >> we certainly hope. we certainly hope that you will do your best and that your colleagues will fall in line and do yours as well. >> do come back and i always enjoy our conversations and congrats to you. >> pleasure. thank you. three weeks after the newtown shooting, the new congress and the issue of gun control. will it manage to break through the budget battle. we'll talk about this. guess who with the donald wants to fire next? the work space is larger than a boardroom and the mascot is an elephant. you're watching msnbc, the place for politics. ♪ ♪ sometimes what we suffer from is bigger than we think ... like the flu. with aches, fever and chills- the flu's a really big deal.
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so why treat it like it's a little cold? there's something that works differently than over-the-counter remedies. prescription tamiflu attacks the flu virus at its source. so don't wait. call your doctor right away. tamiflu is prescription medicine for treating the flu in adults and children one year and older whose flu symptoms started within the last two days. before taking tamiflu tell your doctor if you're pregnant, nursing. have serious health conditions, or take other medicines. if you develop an allergic reaction, a severe rash, or signs of unusual behavior, stop taking tamiflu and call your doctor immediately. children and adolescents in particular may be at an increased risk of seizures, confusion or abnormal behavior. the most common side effects are mild to moderate nausea and vomiting. the flu comes on fast, so ask your doctor about tamiflu. prescription for flu.
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grieving families of the sandy hook elementary school
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victims receiving a very special visit from gabby giffords meeting with them privately on friday to offer her support. giffords and retired astronaut have been speaking out in favor of gun control for some time now. >> secretary of state hillary clinton is out of the hospital and expected at work next week. that tops the political playground. clinton was receiving treatment for a blood clot. she may or may not be amused to be hearing about a screen play about her life when she was in her 20s. that's reportedly in development. rodham has been pinned that focuses on a period when she was torn between following her heart or her career. and the donald, venting on twitter about the fiscal cliff deal on his twitter page. mr. trump saying, quote, i'm a republican, but the republicans may be the worst negotiators in history. the deal, of course, races taxes on individuals making more than 400 grand and families making
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more than 450 and that's the category that the donald falls in even in a really bad year. hey, mom! >> hey, how are you? good to see you. i'm joe biden. [ inaudible ] >> how is that for working a room? vice president joe biden welcoming senators and their families at the swearing in for the 113th congress thursday. that video of a wise-cracking biden went viral in just a day and joe biden reality tv star? could be. people apparently so enamored with biden's senate routine they petitioned the white house to give the vice president his own show. they want to authorize a rec recurring c-span program
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featuring the v.p. the petition has 24,000 signatures. and you know you'd watch it. >> coming up, has one of the sharpest stars of the gop been irreparably damaged by his blunt style? the obama campaign and the bush white house, joining us in the war room plus the man who made the deal with joe biden. could the compromise with the vice president put mitch mcconnell in an awkward position within his own party? you're watching msnbc, the place for politics. [ woman ] too weak. wears off. [ female announcer ] stop searching and start repairing. eucerin professional repair moisturizes while actually repairing very dry skin. the end of trial and error has arrived. try a free sample at eucerinus.com.
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the fda is pushing its most sweeping food safety requirements in decades and they'll start by placing more responsibility to farmers and food companies. they'll require farmers to take extra precautions in the field. food manufacturers are also required to submit food safety
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plans to the federal government. >> here's a look at some of the other stories making news right now. a tragedy ending into a hostage situation in aurora, colorado. four people inside a house are dead including an armed suspect. a s.w.a.t. team was called after shots were heard inside the home early this morning. a fifth person reportedly escaped the house and gave details to aurora police. the new york times is reporting that lance armstrong is considering admitting of using banned substances. there are no ongoing discussions with the u.s. anti-doping agency. the u.s. anti-doping agency saying it has no comment. armstrong has some other legal issues to consider before making a decision. lawmakers in venezuela met to elect a potential replacement in case hugo chavez is not able to run that country. chavez still in the hospital after a fourth surgery for cancer. if chavez cannot continue to
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rule the country, whoever is elected today will be in charge until a new election is organized. back to politics now. in december it looked like the fiscal cliff battle would be fought between president obama and house speaker john boehner, but as it turned out the white house had a better chance to make a deal with the senate minority leader mitch mcconnell from kentucky. james carroll is a washington reporter for "the louisville courier journal." happy new year, sir. >> happy new year to you. >> the president couldn't make the fiscal cliff deal ask could be the new way the way things are done in d.c. that realization they lead to a more formalized process to begin bipartisan negotiations in the senate to put pressure on the house. given this new dawn of bipartisanship that has spanned a week or so now, has senator mcconnell's role as a power broker, has it been enhanced? >> i think it has been enhanced.
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you know, just a quick back story on this, he originally, mcconnell said he would not play the lead role in the negotiations over this fiscal cliff, but in the end he's the guy that ended up picking up the telephone i think a week ago friday and called the white house and said can can anybody make a deal over there and started talking to joe biden. two more opposite people you almost couldn't pick in washington and joe biden was affable ander repressible, optimist and mitch mcconnell always plays it close to the vest or a rather somber guy, but has always been a respected strategist in this town. >> and i think the key to that deal and the key to what may come in the future is that while biden and mcconnell are not buds in any way, they don't socialize, they both have a warm knowledge of the senate and how congress works they seem to have a sense of each other's political needs and political
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limits and they seem to trust each other. senator mcconnell wrot in an op-ed that the fight over the budget in debt, not saying in quote, now that the president has gotten the long-sought tax hike on the rich we can finally turn squarely toward the real problem which is spending. >> can senator mcconnell take over the white house with regard to these spending cuts? >> well, he says he's going to. and is the country ready for this again? it's coming. everybody's been reporting some various break points coming. you've got the debt ceiling situation which mcconnell firmly believes he can use as leverage to get spending cuts. obama won't negotiate over the debt ceiling and we'll see how that one works out. we've also got the automatic spending cuts that the fiscal cliff deal that mcconnell just crafted with biden and put off for 60 days and that's coming. you also have the -- remember this, the actual budget to fund
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federal government program and that expires on march 27th. yes, mcconnell will challenge the white house on it. >> play the role of national dealmaker when he has to win the votes of conservative kentucky voters. we know he's up for reelection next year. >> right. potentially against ashley judd or -- >> she hasn't said yet, but she is looking at it. how would that affect him in kentucky? how will the deal-making play out there? >> it's interesting. he actually put -- sent an e-mail out to his potential campaign donors, less than 24 hours after the fiscal deal was cut and the e-mail sort of -- i don't want to say twisted the story, but it sort of re-wrote the story with mr. mcconnell at the center. there's no mention of joe biden in the e-mail and basically the pitch was hey, mitch mcconnell kept barack obama's hands out of your pockets.
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mitch mcconnell kept taxes from going up on 99% of kentuckyians and 99% of americans and that's his story and he's sticking to it. >> it doesn't hurt that he has $7 million in his campaign war chest. >> and he's raising all of the time. james carroll. >> thank you for having me. be sure to catch mitch mcconnell on "meet the press" check your local listings for time. republicans may not be so firm on other issues. in fact, they could be considering a shift of sorts. those issues could play out as soon as the party prepares for its annual winter meeting in north carolina later this month. a formerful troising press secretary for the 2012 obama campaign upon. jane, good to see you. >> good to see you, too. >> matt, deputy assistant to george w. bush. good saturday afternoon toeth bo of you. >> same to you. >> let me start with you, matt.
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the republican party, of course, suffered from the lack of latino support and president obama took more than 71% latino vote. where the white house continues to push ahead on immigration reform. where should they continue to push on immigration reform? the gop is taking hardliner issues like path to citizen for illegal immigrants in the country. if the party wants to gain latino support will they have to shift positions on immigration reform? >> really think it needs to. i think our party has been marked tested and the market rejected a lot of what they had been trying to do. this is not everyone in my party, but there certainly have been some louder voices that have taken some delight in talking about how we want to build a wall and send folks home and have not talked about this amazing contribution that hispanics have made to our economy, and i think many in my party understand that that
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rhetoric has to stop and s substantial immigration. there are many that are republicans and conservative and they're small business people that are great allies of the party and we ought to get about courting them. >> jim, should the white house introduce bold piece of legislation with regard to legislation or should they define the contours of a plan and let congress fill in the blanks? >> this issue is very close to the president's heart. so my bet and my money would be on a bold proposal of the white house. of course, there are negotiations and that's part of the process, and if you peel off what matt was saying and if one of the more interesting statistics was the fact that 65% of people who were polled in this election felt that undocumented workers should have a path to citizenship.
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so this is an issue where the will of the american people will be behind a reform package and in the president's heart he would like to do something big. >> you will see the president out there pushing this thing using those campaign-style events that he's become such a fan of. let's move to gun control now. i want to continue to talk about this because one of the things that continues to happen is something tragic happens and after a month or two we all move on to something else, now in regard to this, in the wake of the tragic shootings in newtown, we've seen republican lawmakers saying they're willing to re-evaluate the nation's gun laws and they include marco rubio, chuck grassley, as well, but most republicans and democrats they've still been pretty quiet on this issue. is going to control going to be an issue that the party has to deal with in 2014 and perhaps even 2016, as well? >> both parties have to deal
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with this issue. i mean, let's face it. the semiautomatic assault ban that many people are talking about re-visiting was allowed to expire under the presidency of george w. bush. with democrats in congress being mostly silent. the issue of gun control has become a very unpopular issue both for republicans and many democrats and the nra, the national rifle association has an approval rating of 54% in this country. they had a 60% approval rating when the semiautomatic ban was allowed to expire. >> we should note that approval rating and that's the approval rating that was taken using polls after the shootings in connecticut. >> yeah, but my point is this, this is a group that stands up for the second amendment. this is not a republican group and it is not a republican initiative, there are a lot of democrats which have been very careful and if you think deppes
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should be more supportive of bringing up these bans. >> have you been at all disappointed with democrats on the issue of gun control? >> one thing that has changed is that in the wake of the tragedy in newtown, the public polling on the willingness and openness of the american people to support gun control legislation has increased. so that is a fact. >> but it's increased until you start asking them about specifics and that's, you know -- >> two of the biggest challenges here are the short timeline and the axe tension span of the people and the attention span of the media and that we need to move forward in the next couple of weeks and the second is there are a lot of well-meaning groups out there who support gun control legislation who are running in many, many different directions and there needs to be a focused and unified front that supports legislation in order to really be effective from that side and we'll see if that
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happens because there's no question the nra has a strong backing, has a very effective lobbying operation and it will need to be a very strong and unified front from the other side to get it done. >> on both immigration and on gun control, president obama has been the president for more than four years. he's done nothing on either. it's interesting now on both of these issues he's talking as if it's at the top of his agenda. where was he four years ago? >> gun con troel wasn't an issue on top of any legislative list until newdown, connecticut. that was not an issue that was at the top of mine. for a lot of folks like chicago or detroit -- >> he took a dodge and would come out with any particular gun control initiative he would support. >> it's a little silly and we're trying to have a civil conversation here. the fact is there's more question and there's more of a will to get gun control
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legislation done in congress and with the support of the american people than there was just a few months ago. on imimmigration, you need a partner in congress and republicans willing to have a conversation about real reform to get it done. it's not just a one-sided affair. the president would have loved to have the dream act through and you need partners to do that and hopefully with the changing demographics and there will be some willing partners. >> let's talk about a guy that stole the show this week. chris christie, new jersey's governor, blasting party leaders for saming that sandy relief bill. politico's maggie hagram, and some del graphed the clear sentiment that christie's straight-talking truth teller act had worn on them. did christie damage his future? are we looking at the next charlie crist? >> sometimes what works in new jersey doesn't work in america, and i think what chris christie
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has done is really e grash yated himself with the voters in new jersey. i think he's in a strong position to wen re-election, but there has been a time or two when the rest of the country has looked at the way he says things and have scratched their head. he's doing a good job of rising in the ranks of republican presidential hopefuls. right now i would say probably not. >> jim, what do you think. you can't argue the fact that he wasn't effective this week. the bill was taken up after his tired a. >> sure. no question. he did what needed to be done around that storm and his approval rating went up in new jersey as a result, but i completely agree with mat. the question is can he rise to the next level and will he be the candidate in living rooms in iowa and south carolinas that republicans want to hear from and i think that remains to be seen. >> it certainly would be nice to watch and cover. >> always a pleasure. thanks to you both. >> all a pleasure.
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>> thanks, craig. we could be days away from the latest shift in the department of defense. coming up, what should we expect? when should we expect if the president doesn't nominate chuck hague toll leave the pentagon. it will be a fight. 40 years after history was made, now a big part of that history is up for sale. more on that. this is msnbc, the place for politics. we were so blessed when we had triplets if by blessed you mean freaked out about money well we suddenly noticed that everything was getting more expensive so we switched to the bargain detergent but i found myself using three times more than you're supposed to and the clothes still weren't as clean as with tide. so we're back to tide. they're cuter in clean clothes. thanks honey yeah you suck at folding [ laughs ] [ female announcer ] one cap of tide gives you more cleaning power than 6 caps of the bargain brand.
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an amateur video there from inside syria showing new bombing inside the city of bar. the unite nations estimates 60,000 people, 60,000 have been killed in the civil war and now u.s. troops are in turkey just across the syrian border.
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coming up, more on the conflict and what it will mean for the united states. first, though, time now for today's flashback. a trip back to 1972. on this day in that year, president richard nixon announced the nation's space program. >> he reviewed the program with the space agency, james fletcher. it made up of a booster and orbiter that will take off like a rocket and fly up like a spaceship and land back on earthlike an airplane. >> the shuttle program went on to fly some 135 space missions between 1981 and the last night in 2011. two of those missions ended in tragedy. the challenger disaster in 1986 where seven astronauts died. seven others were killed and 2003 when the columbia broke up on re-entry. all 135 missions took from from florida's kennedy space
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center and nasa is set to rent or sell off some of the facilities and some are for nascar tests and boeing is paying for space to build a commercial spaceship. the top spot of the treasury department could become vacant just as congress gets ready for the debt ceiling debate. what does president obama have up his sleeve? that's next. this is msnbc. [ female announcer ] how do you define your moment? the blissful pause just before that rich sweetness touches your lips. the delightful discovery, the mid-sweetening realization that you have the house all to yourself. well, almost. the sweet reward,making a delie that's also a smart choice. splenda no-calorie sweetener. with the original sugar-like taste you love and trust. splenda makes the moment yours.
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president obama out for a little refreshment with malia and sasha there on the family vacation in hawaii. first family wrapping up their holiday vacation later today. when president obama returns to washington he'll have two big cabinet posts to fill. the current favorite for secretary of defense is taking heat on a range of issues, actually. we want to bring back jonathan allen and washington post, ed
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o'keefe. why do you think that president obama holds him in such high regard? >> number one, chuck hagel was a supporter of barack obama and i don't think that hurts somebody who was helpful to him and somebody that got along with in the senate and having the republican secretary of defense and we saw him ask bob gates to stay on at the end of the bush administration. bob gates did stay on for a couple of years there and i think it's an area where he thinks he can get some respect for bringing a republican in. >> ed, this is one of those rare instances where the nominee or the potential nominee is -- has managed to upset folks on the left and the right. how did that happen? >> it's because he's talking his mind and he's not necessarily keeping the political talking points up. he's upset with republicans because while he supported the iraq war, he then raised a lot of doubts and upsets democrats
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because he's a republican, for one, because he has pretty conservative police on just about everything, but national security and foreign policy and because the president is turning to a republican to run the pentagon and there have been suggestions, but i know your network and others are suggesting that there could be ten democratic no-votes in the senate and there are a number of senators thinking of voting no because they disagree with him on national security. >> how bad is the timing for the administration on this one, john? >> it's certainly not good timing, but secretary geithner said he wouldn't stick around and a lot of lead during the first term. i don't think that was any big surprise and i think it matters who gets put in there and whether it's someone congress can quickly approve and one man that's been out there a lot is
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the white house chief of staff. someone who has already served as deputy secretary. i think if you got someone like that you might be able to get them confirmed quickly and of course, republicans will be looking for any point of leverage in the debt limit negotiations and a confirmation hearing will provide that. >> how concerned should the white house be, as well. how concerned should they be about diversity. a lot of the names are guys that, no offense, they look like you and jonathan. >> although i'm half hispanic. no, you're right. there's concern among hispanics that you will have a cabinet full of white guys, not that there's anything wrong with white guys. there's a big concern that there won't be latinos in the cabinet. there's a belief that there will be some positions left for them,
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for example, the commerce department needs a new secretary. there's been talk about potential candidates from florida and california, among the los angeles mayor and antonio villaraigosa was commerce secretary and there's been talk of perhaps moving among other things and labor secretary and putting her in a different position and the gay community would like to see an openly gay cabinet secretary. we'll see if that happens. >> jonathan allen, ed o'keefe. i appreciate you clearing up your ethnicity there, as well. >> hasta luego. >> we'll have more on the possible nomination, gentlemen, have a great saturday. >> coming up, 60,000 people, half the population of allentown, pennsylvania, 60,000 have been killed in the war in syria. now u.s. troops are on the border with turkey. we'll take you inside that battle. also the 2012 election ended yesterday. yes, just ended yesterday in case you were wondering. president obama managed to eke
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out a victory. the race for 2016 has already started. you're watching msnbc, the place for politics. nurses are dealing with a wider range of issues. and there are ever-changing regulations. when you see these challenges, do you want to back away or take charge? with a degree in the field of healthcare or nursing from capella university, you'll have the knowledge to advance your career while making a difference in the lives of patients. let's get started at capella.edu.
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it's another reason more investors are saying... [ all ] i'm with scottrade. it was kind of like you're about to graduate and they said you have to go to summer school. >> barney frank saying, coach, put me in. could the 16-term congressman who just retired become the next senator from the state of massachusetts? >> there's lack of bipartisanship. >> there are now more women in office on capitol hill than ever before. what that diversity could mean for progress. good saturday to you. i'm craig melvin. all of that, plus the 15-year-old pakistani girl shot by the pakistan for promoting education for women has been released from the hospital. what's next for malala and the girls she was fighting for.
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pledging bipartisanship, but as he gets ready to come back from hawaii and start the new year, he also has a warning for republicans. don't use the debt ceiling as leverage. >> one thing i will not compromise over is whether or not congress should pay the tab for a bill they've already racked up. if congress refuses the ability for the united states to pay its bills on time, it could be cat strofk. kristen welker with the president in honolulu. it will be a big change of scenery when he gets back to washington. tell us some of the battles on the horizon for the president. >> reporter: hi, craig. good afternoon. there are three budget battles on the horizon. the one getting the most attention right now is the fight over the debt ceiling and the debt ceiling is like the nation's credit card. the nation has essentially maxed out at this point in time. so congress, the white house will have a bigeb

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